Businesses mostly undecided on response to the Governor’s announcement

Businesses on Gov. Abbott's announcement to lift restrictions

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Governor Abbott’s announcement Tuesday of rescinding state-wide safety mandates for businesses has local businesses thinking about how they will operate starting next Wednesday, when his announcement is effective.

Most businesses say they are still thinking about if they will require their customers to wear masks and if they will increase to 100 percent, as they will be allowed to do on Wednesday, March 10.

At Burklee Hill Bistro and Tasting Room in Downtown Lubbock, they’re still considering their options.

“Right now, it’s a little too soon. We obviously need to still formulate our opinion in what we need to do, but as of right now, we are going to make sure that everyone is well within our guidelines. We are going to ask staff to still wear masks at this time,” said head manager, Ben Hernandez.

Hernandez says Burklee Hill is operating at half occupancy right now, even though they can operate currently at 75 percent.

“We’ve pretty much stuck to 50 percent occupancy because we still do social distancing to make sure that our tables are still six feet apart and wiped clean after every use... whereas we cannot really implement the 75 percent with the social distancing requiring.”

But they will still have hand sanitizer for the foreseeable future, no matter what decisions are made.

Over at Devault Floral on 19th street, owner Jenni Lemons says she’s going to agree with the Governor’s decisions. She’ll let people chose if they want to wear a mask when they enter her business, but will still be respectful to those wearing masks.

“If someone needs us to do something with no contact or wearing a mask or something like that, we will accept their request for that but as far as the mandate, we won’t be requiring that in our store,” said Lemons.

She’s doing this to honor people making their own decisions, but says she still wants to remain respectful to her customers.

“If someone walks in wearing a mask, we are going to pick up our mask and wear our mask.”

“So if someone was worried about a Covid risk or something like that, we can always leave it on the porch or require the driver to wear a mask or something like that.”

The Governor’s new order does allow county judges to restrict businesses if Covid hospitalization rates go above 15 percent for a week straight.

However, county judges cannot ask businesses to limit occupancy to below 50 percent. Also, no one can be fined or jailed for non-compliance.

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